Catalog Course Display
A course is a unique combination of course subject, course number, title, unit value, semester offered, and other attributes that may include cross-listed courses, contact hours, pre- or co-requisites, credit type, and level. Courses are listed in the University Catalog while classes can be found on the Class Schedule. Classes identify specific day, time, location, and instructor for each semester the course is offered.
The following are examples of how a course is displayed in the University Catalog and illustrates the notations and symbols used for course information.
Course Subject, Course Number, Title, Unit Value, and Special Designations
The first line of the course description contains the official course identification (course subject and course number) used in the Class Schedule, student schedule, and transcripts. It is followed by the complete course title, unit value, and any special designations.
Credit for courses offered by California State University, Chico is awarded in terms of semester units. The unit value of a course is computed on the basis of one unit for each hour of lecture or discussion, two hours of activity, two to three hours of laboratory, or three hours of independent study or internship per week, for a 16-week semester (15 weeks of instruction plus a mandatory final week for two additional hours minimum). Courses meeting for fewer than 16 weeks will require an equivalent number of hours pro-rated on a per-week basis. For most courses, two hours of out-of-class preparation will be expected for each hour of in-class lecture or recitation. A credit hour is assumed to be a 50-minute period. In courses, such as those offered online, in which “seat time” does not apply, a credit hour may be measured by an equivalent amount of work, as demonstrated by student achievement per CSU definition of credit hour ( AA 2011-14).
Special designations are given to courses that meet CSU or Chico State requirements for graduation. These special designations may include:
- GC = approved global cultures course
- GE = approved general education course
- USD = approved US diversity course
- GW = approved graduation writing assessment course
- W = approved writing course
Courses marked with a green leaf symbol are a part of Chico State's commitment to sustainability practices and education. These green courses emphasize environmentally responsible awareness and learning.
Requisites are registration requirements and are defined as:
Prerequisites: You must fulfill specific coursework or other conditions before you are allowed to enroll in the course. Prerequisites may be waived by the faculty member. You must have a passing grade for a prerequisite course. Your total number of units determines whether you meet a prerequisite for class level (e.g., sophomore) unless the requirement is otherwise defined and listed in the catalog.
The prerequisites line may also contain:
Corequisite: You must take concurrently the course or courses indicated. The requirement may not be waived.
Recommended: It is recommended that you have prior coursework or knowledge; the term is used to advise and caution, but not to prevent your enrollment.
Recommended Co-enrollment: You are advised to take a recommended concurrent enrollment; it is used to advise you of proper course sequence.
Faculty Permission: You must obtain permission of the instructor before registration is allowed. Inquire in the department office for specific instructions regarding permission to register.
Typically offered shows the semesters a course generally is offered. Course offerings are dependent on resources and demand and therefore may not always match the typically offered shown. Check the Class Schedule each semester to see if a class is available the semester you plan to take it.
A complete course description is provided and outlines the topics covered in the course. At the end of the course description, a statement appears to indicate the type of course (lecture, activity, supervision, etc.) and the number of contact hours with the faculty that you can expect each week. Refer to the Class Schedule for specific days and times for each class offering.
If a course meets General Education requirements, the specific GE area(s) will be listed.
A cross-listed course is a single course offered collaboratively through two or more departments or programs. You may take either offering to count for program or requisite requirements but you may not take both for credit.
The grade basis defines the grades that can be awarded for a course. See Grading System and Policies for the definition of grading symbols and the computation of grade point average.
Some courses may be taken more than once for credit. Programs may have additional restrictions on the number of units that may be used toward completion of the program.
Course attributes are used to identify courses that meet specific criteria or university requirements.
There are some courses that require the use of a laptop computer, and others that require specific software, or both. These courses and the programs they appear in cannot be completed without the required hardware and software. Please consult with the specific departments for details. Discounts for purchasing hardware and software for educational use are available through the Chico State Wildcat Store.
Course Identification Policies
Course Subject Abbreviations
Course subject abbreviations are four alpha characters and are used in the University Catalog, the Class Schedule, student study lists, academic planning guides, evaluation materials, and transcripts.
Course Numbering System
The following course numbering system is employed per the University Course Numbering Policy (EM 21-027).
These courses are generally developmental or preparatory and carry no baccalaureate credit.
100-199: Freshman or 1st Year, Lower-Division
These courses are designed for freshmen, but may be taken by others. Many community college courses may be comparable.
200-299: Sophomore or 2nd Year, Lower-Division
These courses are designed for sophomores, but may be taken by others. Some community college courses may be comparable.
300-399: Junior or 3rd Year, Upper-Division
These courses are designed for juniors, but may be taken by others. This course designation is appropriate for GE Upper-Division Pathways. None of these courses are comparable to community college courses. Since community college courses cannot qualify for upper-division credit, it is presumed that upper-division courses at Chico State should not be equivalent to similar courses at any community college.
400-499: Senior or 4th Year, Upper-Division or Graduate
These courses are designed for seniors, but may be taken by others. This course designation is appropriate for senior seminars and courses that require a high degree of disciplinary sophistication or a high degree of specificity in content. It assumes considerable prerequisite knowledge and experience. None of these courses are comparable to community college courses. Students receiving graduate credit for these courses generally are required to complete additional coursework beyond that required of students receiving baccalaureate credit.
500-599: Advanced Senior or Graduate
These courses reflect advanced study and are appropriate for both seniors and graduate students. Students receiving graduate credit for these courses generally are required to complete additional course work beyond that required of students receiving baccalaureate credit. These courses can include post-baccalaureate courses that are not permitted to be included in the requirements for graduate degrees, such as those in credential programs.
Graduate courses are open to post-baccalaureate students only, with the exception of undergraduates who may enroll with permission of the Dean of Graduate Studies. They require the identification and investigation of a theory or principle; application of theory to new ideas, problems, and materials; extensive use of bibliographic and other resource materials; or competence in the scholarly presentation of independent study research.
700-799: Reserved For Future Use
These courses focus on problems encountered in professional service and aim to meet the needs of groups seeking vocational improvement and career advancement. They are designed primarily for the purpose of meeting objectives that cannot be served by established graduate and undergraduate courses. Credit for these courses does not apply to degrees. However, in exceptional cases and with the approval of the appropriate program or department and college dean, students may apply these toward degree and credential programs for which such courses are deemed acceptable.
Determination of the acceptability of these courses for degree and credential credit will depend primarily upon course content and approach. Students should not consider registering in these courses for credential or degree purposes without first consulting with the appropriate department.
These non-credit courses are designed to provide opportunities to pursue cultural, intellectual, and social interests.
Course Number Suffix Guidelines
Suffixes may be used and are limited to one character.
A list of suffixes used is below:
- H = honors.
- L = laboratory.
- W = writing.
- X = supplemental instruction.
Course sequences with suffixes may be sequential (i.e., A, B, C, D etc.). Sequential order may or may not indicate a series of courses. See the academic department for more information.
- Suffixes on graduate level 699 courses (only) may include:
- P = project.
- T = thesis.
Reserved Course Numbers
189, 289, 389, 489, 589, 689: Internship and other experience-based courses. These courses involve community work with placement in a public or private agency under the supervision of a qualified professional. A maximum of 15 internship units may be applied to a bachelor’s degree (a program or department may limit the number of units which count toward degree requirements).
198, 298, 398, 498, 598, 698: Special topics and experimental courses offered on a one-time only basis or new courses offered between catalog years. There is no university limit on the number which may count for a degree. A program or department may limit the number which counts toward degree requirements.
199, 299, 399, 499, 599: Special problems courses used for independent study with variable units. Students will be strongly advised to enroll in no more than 3 units of independent study per semester; a total of 6 units may apply toward a bachelor’s degree, although a program or department may further limit the number which counts toward degree requirements. Special problems courses numbered 599 and lower may not apply in a master’s degree program.
399H, 499H, 599H: Honors courses are available only to students admitted to Honors in the Major or Honors in General Education, typically for independent study leading to Honors. These 3- or 6-unit courses are normally taken in the senior year. These units do not count toward the maximums listed in the preceding paragraph.
696: Comprehensive Examination: A course designated in some graduate programs to review and synthesize the major theories, themes, and concepts of the discipline or program, culminating in the completion of the comprehensive examination required for the degree. In programs that offer the Comprehensive Examination course, a maximum of 3 units of 696 credit may be awarded, and a Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) grade is assigned. See Graduate Education Policies.
697: Independent Study: A course designated for a specific research project supervised by an authorized member of the faculty. Courses numbered 697 are open to post-baccalaureate students only. See Graduate Education Policies.
699: Master’s Study: Separated into a thesis and supporting research or a project as defined by the individual program or department. Enrollment in a 699 course is supervised by the chair of the graduate advisory committee. One to six units of Master’s Study credit will be awarded for the completion of a thesis or project and the supporting research for the topic. The number of units awarded is determined by the program or department. The course may not be taken as Special Session or Open University credit. Normally, enrollment in 699 is limited to classified students or candidates in a master’s degree program, although restrictions vary among departments. All 699 courses are assigned a grade of Report in Progress (RP) until all degree requirements are successfully completed, and a grade of Credit (CR) is assigned at that time. See Graduate Education Policies.